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The Etruscan Civilization (900-150 BC). Magna Grecia colonies (8th-4th century BC ). The Roman Empire …(350 BC-476 AD). The Italian Historical Geographical and Cultural Puzzle . 1050. 1494. 1476. 1796. Different natural environments ….

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The italian historical geographical and cultural puzzle

The Etruscan


(900-150 BC)

Magna Grecia colonies(8th-4th century BC)

The Roman Empire…(350 BC-476 AD)

The ItalianHistoricalGeographical andCultural Puzzle 






Before and after the Roman Empire, «Italy» hasalwaysbeenmanydifferentcountries in one: with differentcustoms, differentlanguages– often a deeplydifferent culture.Italybecame a unified «kingdom» only in 1861, and a Republic in 1946.Itisnow made of 20 regions, and most of themstillpreserve a verypeculiarcharacter-traditions, language, food…- and are alsoveryproud of it.Some «regionaldialects» are actually a secondlanguage, and havelittle to do with Itaian

The Kingdom of Italy(1861)

The richregionaldiversitymakesit hard – and alsounfair – to makeanykind of generalizationaboutItaliantraditions, customs and culture.Yet…Wehavesomething in common…Weall LOVE FOOD We love cooking, eating…and ,aboveall, talkingaboutfood Foodisone of the main cultural featureswhere in ItalyDifferenceoftenbecomes a positive chance to shar e, appreciate, and mix up 

And that’sonly an example of how «pasta» can mean a number of differentdishes

A part from FOOD…

Wehave a couple of otherthings in common 


Christmas and Easterare celebratedall over Italy …thoughnoteverywhere in the same way -and with the samefood 

Epithany (6 thJanuary) isalso an importantday and itisoftencelebratedboth from a religious (the Three Wise Men bringtheirpreciousgifts to the Holy Baby ) and a ‘pagan’ point of view: childrenwait for the «Befana» (an old woman flying on a broomwhocomes by night and fills the children’ssocks with sweets or coal) , adultsmeetaround big bonfirescalled «Pan e Vin» (theyburn the oldyear, callingit the «oldhug»)

«Ognissanti» (31st October) wasessentially a religiousoccasion, and a daydevoted to visitone’sown dead. Amongoldtraditionstherewas the habit to eat the first chestnuts and drink «vino novello» (new wine from the last grapeharvest). Yet, for children and youngerpeople the eventisnowmostlyassociated with «Halloween» and hasbecome a sort of second Carnival.

Moreover, any city, littlevillagehasitsownPatron Saint: thisis a veryimportantoccasion and celebrationsoften go on for a week and more – includingbothreligious and ‘pagan’ events.


Christmas Presents

Christmas Krib

Christmas table…

Christmas Markets



CARNIVALisanotherimportant moment of nationalcelebration, involving the biggestcitiesaswellas the littlevillages, especially on MaundyThursday and ShoveTuesday (MardiGras – last daybeforeLent).

Among the mostfamous are Viareggio (for itsincrediblefloats parade) and Venice Carnival, whichattracttourists from all over the world eveyyear.


Itwavesoutsideall public buildings in Italy – schoolsincluded – butmostItalians look atitmainlyas the symbol of ournational football team…

Itbecame the National flag in December 1947, after the end of the II World War – butitwasborn in 1794 and inspired by the French Flag and the ideals of the French Revolution: Libertè, Egalitè, Fratenitè.

The blue of the French Flagwaschangedinto green to avoidconfusion and add an element of ‘hope’.

A legendtells a different story: the green is for ourplains, the white for the snowymountains, the red for the blood of the soldierswhodied for ourfreedom.

Some of the most famous venetian traditional festivals

- CARNIVAL: The flight of the Angel and the Eagle; the Festival of Marie

- SAINT MARK’S DAY, 25th April (Saint Patron of Venice) Husbands and fiancé are expected to give a rosebud to theirsweethearts

- FESTA DELLA SENSA, May (AscensionDay). ItcelebratesVenicemarriage with the sea and the greatness of the Venetianfleet. The water parade isguided by the Doge whothrow the ring in the water.

- VOGALONGA ,May (boat race)

- SU E ZO PAI PONTI (running/walking race)

- FESTA DEL REDENTORE thirdSaturday of July ( celebrating the end of a plague in 1577; Palladio Basilica wasbuilton thatoccasion. On Redentore Day, Venetiansbuild a boat bridge, linking Zattere to Giudecca, on Canal Grande; a large number of differentboatsmeet in Bacino San Marco, waitig for the greatfirework show of the night)

- REGATA STORICA, first Sunday in September (Historical boat race)


- MADONNA DELLA SALUTE, 21st November (celebrating the end of a plague in the XVII century)

Some of the mostfamousVenetiantraditionalfestivals…



Gondola building

Lace work



Last but not least

In Italywehavenearly the 70/80% of all the historical-artisticheritage of the world…butwedon’t care enoughaboutit

Last butnotleast…